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E-mail Plan, Facebook Changes

(This is a re-post of our February 2018 newsletter sent by e-mail. Subscribe to our newsletter here.)

Topics this month:

E-mail Backups
A client recently lost a lot of e-mail. It could have been prevented with regular backups. My advice: get a handle on your company e-mail system.

Facebook Changed the News Feed
Facebook announced that it was reducing the number of business and publisher posts in the news feed.

Email Large Graphic

E-mail – What’s a Business to Do?

First, e-mail is an IT function, not a marketing function.

Fifteen years ago, e-mail was pretty simple: a desktop computer connected to the mail server over the internet. It wasn’t directly related to marketing like a website, but it was included with website hosting. Most website hosting service includes e-mail, and it’s included with Pacesetter Media hosting.

Today, it’s more complicated. People access e-mail from anywhere on multiple devices. There are potential virus and security risks. And some companies want all e-mail archived and backed up.

It’s increasingly a combination of technical issues, business requirements and training. For most companies, it’s not simple.

The primary factors that complicate things:

  • Number of Users
    Obviously, one e-mail user is simpler than five users, and five is simpler than 20 e-mail users.
  • Individual Requirements
    Some people use one desktop computer to get e-mail. Others use multiple devices and need e-mail synced across all devices. Some people access e-mail from anywhere in the world. Others are always in the same office.
  • Business Requirements
    What do you need: backups, access from anywhere, mobile devices? Are your users tech savvy? Can they manage their e-mail and your business requirements themselves? Do you need training? Monthly support? On-call support?

The Best Approach

Take these primary factors, multiply them together, and that’s how complicated your e-mail system needs to be. And it’s technical, dependent on your current computer systems (including mobile devices), and dependent on the training of your e-mail users and tech support.

I would detail a generic solution to cover most businesses, but there are too many exceptions for most businesses.

Get IT Involved

If you have an IT department or computer support person, get them involved. Some of these decisions are technical and should be part of your overall plan for your computers. Your IT folks should already know your computers and network, and they’ll have to support your e-mail decisions.

Back Up

Whatever you do, include steps to back up your e-mail. You should certainly back up every computer regularly, and maybe that’s all you need. But I also suggest setting your devices to leave e-mail on the server for 35 days. That way, if a computer crashes, the most recent e-mail is quickly available. (Possible Exception: Somebody who receives lots of e-mails with large files. Like I said, there are exceptions to every rule of thumb I can offer.)

E-Mail Consultation

Have questions? Call so we can start the conversation about the best approach for you. If needed, I’ll come in, review your current systems, and write up my recommendations.

Facebook Changed

You wouldn’t believe how smart I felt the week after the January newsletter went out. In that newsletter, I said, “You can spend lots of time building a following and then lose control when Facebook limits your reach. It’s up to them, and if they change their terms next week, who knows what they’ll do?”

The next week, Facebook announced that it was reducing the number of business and publisher posts in the news feed. It’s not all bad for business; Facebook is trying to reduce low-quality and untrustworthy posts. They also say they’re showing more personal posts from friends and family. But for business, this still probably means less exposure without paid advertising (which is still pretty good as advertising goes).

So I’m sticking with my assessment from last month: An e-mail newsletter is still the most cost effective way to reach your customers in mass. Most businesses should have at least a minimal presence of Facebook. For some businesses, lots of Facebook interaction is fitting.

But, dang, I felt pretty smart the week after last month’s newsletter. 🙂

Get Reminders for Your Events

As you’re planning your events, remember to send me your dates. I’ll add them to the calendar and contact you at least one month before to make sure your print and promo materials arrive on time. If you’re planning a big event or a new campaign, I can contact you even earlier.
 Pacesetter Media – Solving Promotion Problems

Logo Study Header Image

Logos Should Have Big Text

Logos should have big text, text that’s easy to read even when the logo is small. That’s yet one more criteria of logo design.

And as much as possible, logos should have short words from the company or product name.

A few years ago, I designed a logo for my local home brew club, Brandon Bootleggers. It was a practical logo with bold text. It wasn’t the most artistic logo, but the artwork was original, not stolen off the internet. And it was free work, something I did for the new brew club as it was getting started. The club steering committee came up with another logo that violated several rules of good logo design. No big deal. It’s a local club, non-profit.

Sea-of-Logos Example

Today, I saw a post from the Brandon Foundation highlighting the sponsors for an event. It included the Brandon Bootleggers logo. It was hard to read.

Here’s the sea of logos Brandon Foundation published. Look at the second one on the top row, Brandon Bootleggers Home Brew Club.

Logo Study Broken

Here’s the same graphic but with my version of the Bootleggers logo.

Logo Study Fixed

That’s a lot easier to read.

Big Text

In fact, this sea of logos makes for a study in logo design. Some logos are very easy to read and therefore do a good job of branding the company:

  • Bonefish Grill
  • Longhorn Steakhouse
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Stonewood
  • Livy O’s Catering Co.

Several logos have extra words and some long words, but the designers selectively made some words bigger, so they work in this example:

  • Romano’s Macaroni Grill
  • PRP Wine
  • The Bridges
  • Stonewood

Others are just hard to read:

  • Cater Tampa
  • Nothing Bundt Cake
  • Food (The one word is big, but what’s being branded here?)
  • Bootleggers Home Brew Club

So my version of the Bootleggers logo isn’t high art, but it works when it’s small and displayed in a sea of logos. This illustrates an important rule when designing logos:

  • Logos should be readable when small.

New Year Update

Here we are, another year has passed, and I have a few updates to share. First, Happy New Year and thank you for your loyal business. As Pacesetter Media grows, I appreciate each and every order, referral and inquiry. I look forward to working with you in 2016. Some updates include:

Studio Renovations

Studio Makover I started from scratch on the studio, stripping out the carpet and repainting. I also got new power amps for instruments and general listening. That was done by April, and it’s great for lighting, photography and video. But audio recordings had some echo. That’s okay for some music styles, but not so much for spoken word. I fixed that by adding acoustic panels recently, and it sounds great. Studio, Acoustic Panels Spoken-word recording is better, and music listening is a lot better. I knew the acoustic panels would improve the sound, but I was surprised how clean music is now, even at high volumes. Loud-Music Delight Next time you’re in the area or you’re here for a photo shoot, be sure to bring your playlist on your phone or music player. We’ll hook it up and listen with a little volume. I think you’ll like it.

Expanded WordPress Options

In 2015 WordPress was popular with clients. For small business websites, WordPress is a really good option. It’s SEO friendly and lets clients update sites themselves. It’s also flexible and scalable. We can use any theme or my own Pacesetter Media theme. I can customize WordPress for almost any web application. You can learn more at my WordPress post from 2013.
Logo Apparel

Logo Apparel

Apparel was another hit in 2015. I launched a new website with lots of catalogs at Whether you need a short run or a big quantity, I can offer quality apparel, embroidery and screen printing. Volume Discounts By the way, the magic number for polo shirts is around 100. The magic number for t-shirts is 500. At those quantities, I can offer special discounted pricing Extra Creative Time with Large Orders BTW: Did you know I offer extra creative time with big orders of printing and promotional items? This “time credit” can be used on any project. You can get extra design, photography and web updates you can use up to 90 days later.

Thank You – Here’s to 2016

Thank you again. I look forward to working with you in 2016.